Blog Post 3- Patchwork World

Today’s discussion of the Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson got me thinking about how I am my own “patchwork.” Although I am not physically stitched together, I have been pieced together by the genetics of my parents and their respective families. In the everyday world we hear people say, “you like exactly like your uncle” or “you have your mothers eyes” and even “you and your grandfather have the exact same build.” I am know biology major, in fact I have never taken a biology class before but I know that this is because of genetics and chromosomes.

To put it in perspective, my eyes, including the fact that I am color blind, come from my mothers father. My thick brown hair comes from my father. My height and skinny build come from my mother’s side of the family where my uncles are both tall and thin. There are other attributes that I have chosen to omit, but it is evident that I am many different patches stitched together by  genetics and the reproductive process. Besides looks, my name comes from many different sources. Matthew is my father’s middle name. Durnin (my middle name) comes from my grandmothers maiden name. Dwyer comes from a long lineage of family history traveling back to Ireland and the great land of Potatoes.

In my case, not only my physical appearance and name are a patchwork, but everything in my daily life revolves around the main goal of creating a unified structure similar to the actual Patchwork Girl. Emotionally, each day brings a different mood. With these moods comes a different desire and a unique set of goals that bring about many different outcomes. Weeks that flow from the highs of good grades and nice weather to the lows of tiredness, boredom and rain make me question who really is Matthew Durnin Dwyer. Do I have one particular identity? Can I be figured out easily or does it take a while to actually know me? Lastly, can I be divided into 5 sections that each lead a reader/viewer down a new road? These are questions I ask myself. At this point in time I don’t have an answer. Some days I think I have it narrowed down the next I fall back into the pit of confusion.

We learned in the Cyborg Manifesto that the body is a social, cultural and historical production and process. Overtime, I have changed both emotionally and physically, altering my patchwork and stitches. Thus, making I am a hybrid and a cyborg of some sorts. It’s easy for me to look at the Patchwork Girl noticing the ways she doesn’t fit in or the ways the monster is shunned in Frankenstein but it is hard for me to do the same thing about myself. When I do step out of my own shoes, I only grow more confused as to who I am or why my actions change based on the group of people I am with. For now, I am a patchwork.

One thought on “Blog Post 3- Patchwork World

  1. I was also inspired by Patchwork Girl to think about how everyone is comprised of many different elements. Like you, I can’t imagine myself without the various parts I have inherited from other people. My entire identity revolves around these parts — my name nods to my Scottish heritage; my height to my father’s family; my scars to the games I played with teammates and siblings. I even consider my initials, which my parents chose as a nod to the ACC and their beloved Duke Blue Devils, an important part of who I am. I’d argue that one can’t be “whole” without these patches — like you mention, humans are social creatures, and identities are created based off of the experiences we have. I think nurture has a bigger impact over personal development than does nature; to me, “nurture” is just another way of describing the patches that we inherit from those around us.

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